If I have a fully blue image. (Applied solid blue layer on "colour" layer mode) and I want to make the image more iridescent by randomly making some shades different hues of blue how could I do this? For example adding a "brightness and contrast" layer above it makes it change to different hues of blue but not as pronounced or diverse as I want. Thanks and here is an example of iridescent


  • 2
    Can you link a picture from the Web that you deem "iridescent"?
    – bukwyrm
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 7:45
  • to clarify I want to shift all colours past a certain hue to cyan, and all colours over a certain hue to indigo. and keep the middle cobalt.
    – LDR
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 7:53
  • I guess your method, or any method involving conflating brightness and hue (e.g. Curves) can approximate an iridescent effect. But note that true iridescence (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridescence) has the hue shift with illumination/viewing angle, and thus would need a 3D model to work from, even for a static 2D image. The brightness of any given pixel (that you work with for your effect) is not directly and solely linked to angle-of-material.
    – bukwyrm
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 8:21

2 Answers 2


You could fake it a bit in Camera Raw; shifting aquas, blue & purples in different directions.

enter image description here

I've pushed this way too far just as an example - & the original image was tiny, so it looks a bit rough.
You can actually keep repeating this action to push things further, though it will get a tad "sci-fi" after a while.

  • how do you get regular images into camera raw?
    – LDR
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 15:51
  • Filter Menu/ Camera RAW Filter... works on pretty much anything [though I've never tested anything other than RGB]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 15:52
  • I found it just as you commented. pretty cool thanks.
    – LDR
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 15:54
  • Thanks, this is what I ended up doing, it gave the best result. Once was enough.
    – LDR
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 22:48

I figured it out but I don't mind alternative methods either or if there are any downsides to what I did. I used "Color Range" from select to select the highlights, midtones and shadows and then applied a different blue "colourize" layer to each layer of the image and stacked them in the right order to get the best effect.

Edit: Ended up using the accepted answer's method.

  • Can you add your own image result? Would be nice to see what you got with your method.
    – Luciano
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 8:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.